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TM unites tradition and technology in riveting Hari Raya film

Malaysia — Telekom Malaysia (TM), has produced a heart-warming Hari Raya film that incorporates Kufi, a type of early Arabic calligraphy, in an innovative way to unite the cultures of the past with the technology of the future. The campaign was created, handled, and executed by brand and customer experience agency, VMLY&R.

The short film entitled ‘Dari Hati’ or From the Heart, is part of the TM’s wider Festive Campaign for 2022 – which encompasses all the main festive celebrations in Malaysia, including National Day.

The short film revolves around a young man, Iqbal, and his ruminations on life and his purpose. His mum then rings, asking for help clearing out the workshop of his deceased father, who was an artist. By revisiting the workshop and being inspired by his father’s art to create tech Kufi versions of his own, Iqbal reconnects with his family, his heritage and above all his father’s values of doing everything with wholeheartedness and sincerity.

VMLY&R’s proprietary ‘Muslim Intel Lab’ insights helped shape the idea, that Malaysians have one intangible heritage that is passed on from every generation: Words of wisdom. This is an important pillar of the Malay community as it forms and guides everything that they do in life. Through this, the agency found a way to turn this intangible heritage into a tangible end product with the Kufi generator.

Kenni Loh, CEO of VMLY&R Malaysia, shared, “Our proprietary ‘Muslim Intel Lab’ provided a valuable insight that inspired us to find a solution that could convert the intangible, a heritage passed down through the generations, into the tangible. Our goal was to honour and celebrate Aidilfitri in a unique and interesting way and get our audience to not only enjoy the touching and meaningful Raya film but also share their own words of wisdom thanks to the world’s first Kufi generator.”

Together with TM, VMLY&R co-created a proprietary platform, Artificial Intelligence Visual to Extralinguistic Experience (A.I.VEE) that allows users to key their words of wisdom into a special page on the TM website that then converts their submission from text into beautiful Kufi. They can then customise, download their personalised Kufi design and share them with their friends and family.

KC Aui, executive creative director of VMLY&R Malaysia, said, “Many brands just produce a TVC for Raya, but we wanted to build on that in an innovative way. We wanted to celebrate the culture of sharing words of wisdom from our elders by converting them into another form of Malay heritage: turning Jawi (the traditional way of writing Malay script based on Arabic letters) into beautiful Kufi art.”

Commenting on the project, Shanti Jusnita Johari, CMO of Telekom Malaysia, said, “We want to highlight and celebrate Malaysia’s many cultures and heritage during a festive season when people are more attuned to the idea of how culture connects our humanity and brings families closer together. We also want to demonstrate TM’s role as the enabler of technology, by empowering Malaysians to use technology to create art pieces.”

Since its launch for Hari Raya, the film has garnered over 2 million views, and over 700 pieces of original Kufi art have been created. VMLY&R developed the first of its kind Kufi generator using A.I.VEE technology and building the microsite.